The following is the story about a family of dolls that were created to put a smile on human's faces, whether those humans beyoung, old, boy or girl. The surname of this doll family is "Precious Moments" and its designer and creator is Sam Butcher.
It all began when Sam Butcher first discovered his artistic talents and used these blessed skills to portray his love of God. Sam began his ministry in child evangelism and offered "Chalk Talks" which allowed him practice teaching through his artwork. During this time he also was the illustrator for Christian album covers and books.
Sam teamed up with Bill Biel and opened the greeting card and artwork company, Jonathan & David Company in Michigan. Through these greeting cards Sam earned national recognition with his adorable tear-dropped eye figures that everyone depicted as "just precious". About this time, the Enesco Company struck a deal with Sam to market these precious little creatures on a larger scale and the first "Precious Moments" figurines were introduced. Later, in 1981, the Enesco Company released a few limited porcelain dolls to add to the "Precious Moments" Collection, including Mikey, Cubby, Debbie, Candy, BongBong, Angie, Trish, PD, etc.
Because of the success of the Enesco line, Sam and Bill had the freedom to more freely open their hearts to their Christian ministry. In 1985, they were led to the Philippines, where they first found a group of Bible school students that were about to lose their funding. To help the plight of these students, the Jonathan & David Company, the original licensor of Precious Moments artwork by Sam Butcher, introduced a line of Precious Moments dolls that were intended to appeal to children. The original tags from the first two dolls, the Jesus Loves Me Boy and Girl dolls, explain the companys purpose and read as follows: "Deep in the heart of the Philippines, young Bible School students spend part of their day producing these Jesus Loves Me Dolls. Without the financial assistance they would be unable to complete their education and go into their desired ministries. The Jonathan & David Corporation of the Philippines began in 1981 when Bill Biel and Sam Butcher became acquainted with a small Bible College in the city of Iloilo, located on the Panay Island. Upon their acquaintance they discovered 33 students were dropping out of school due to the lack of sufficient funds. It was then that these two men decided to raise up a company for the sole purpose of supporting these students. These warm and beautiful dolls are the fruit of their labor. Carefully designed and produced with so much love, they are sure to win their way into the hearts of children everywhere."
These dolls were made with vinyl heads and hands, not porcelain, so as to be safely played with by children. Over the next three years, the Jonathon & David Company produced nine different dolls that were all meant to be played with by children and were sold at a fraction of the cost of the Enesco porcelain doll line. This in itself drew Precious Moments collectors into the doll collecting pastime. The dolls were so sweet and were produced for such a good cause, many wise Precious Moments collectors saved these original nine dolls and kept them in mint condition.
In 1988, the Jonathan & David Company closed its doors and was to be reopened by a different name in 1989. This new doll company was the Precious Moments Country, Inc. and they continued to produce a few of the original nine dolls still.
In 1992, the Precious Moments Country, Inc. was change to the Precious Moments Company, Inc. and remains that name till today. The dolls are still made by Sams inspirations and many are designed by his daughter, Debbie Butcher-Cho and other members of the family. The videos produced by the Precious Moments Company were largely written by Sam Butcher, Debbie Butcher-Cho, and Sams son Jon Butcher.
As PMC continues to produce adorable, beautiful and inspirational dolls, the popularity of this collection continues to grow. There seems to be at least a few "special" dolls that touch anyones heart these days.
What started as just a cute little doll for children has grown into a beautiful and limited edition collectible for all.
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©1999, Renee Michele Meglan, Davis Enterprises
All rights reserved. It is illegal to reproduce or transmit any part of this website in any form by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise without prior written permission from the publisher.
The information on this website is distributed on an "as is" basis without warranty, and strictly for the enjoyment of the collector. While serious precautions have been made to obtain correct and valid information, neither the author, nor Davis Enterprises, shall have any liability to any person or entity with respect to loss of monies directly influenced by the information obtained on this website. All pictures and information are from personal collections and none of the contents are authorized by the Precious Moments Company, Inc.